Guide to Sex with Disabilities
This is a sentence that most people agree with in theory, but unfortunately, that hasn’t always worked out in practice. For people with disabilities, having sex can seem difficult, or even impossible, and the emotional and mental cost of that can be devastating. It’s an added and invisible weight to the struggles of disability.
Adding to that, society often completely ignores the sexual needs of people with disabilities, preferring to assume that it is secondary and unimportant. We don’t take into account the vital importance of intimacy and human connection, of touch and taste, and of that shivering bond. That’s unfair, and literally dehumanizes a huge group.
Sex is part of what makes us human, and can’t be taken away simply due to injury or disability. We think sex is for everyone, and we spend every one of our days proving that.
At Sportsheets, our mission is to help everyone enjoy the intimate thrills of sexual relations. We’ve created products that serve people with a wide variety of disabilities, injuries, and pain. We know the toll that not being able to be close to our partners can take on a relationship and our sense of self, and we want to ease that toll and bring couples closer together.
Our goal is to create products that can enable passion from any angle, regardless of disability. We create both sex toys and sexual positioning devices that can foster different sexual experiences for both partners, and that work for a wide variety of people. We know you want to change up angles and experiences—we all do—and these toys and devices make it possible.So if you or a loved one has had an injury or a disability, we hope that some of our products will help you claim or regain the intimacy you deserve.
Helping everyone have fulfilling sex is one of our primary missions here at Sportsheets.
Why We Care
At Sportsheets, service is in our blood.
Sportsheets founder Tom Stewart enlisted in the Marines in 1983, becoming a pilot. In the Marine Corps he flew a CH-46 Sea Knight; in the Navy, an H-60 Sea Hawk. He achieved the rank of Commander 05 in Navy, Retired (CDR USNR RET). After serving 6 years of active duty in the Western Pacific (WestPac), he spent the next 14 in the Marine Reserves.
With this long history of service, Tom understands the pain and depression that can come from being wounded. For so many young men and women, their injuries would seem to be a barrier to a healthy sex life. Loss of limbs or genitals, severe spinal injuries leading to paraplegia or quadriplegia, and other injuries, have too often closed the door to sexuality.
That’s a terrible price to pay, above and beyond what they have already given to their country. It can wreck relationships and destroy self-esteem. This is just as devastating for the wives, husbands, boyfriends, and girlfriends of wounded vets as well. While they pick up the role of caregiver, they lose the role of lover. This kind of tension can destroy relationships.
That’s not right, and that’s one of the main reasons Sportsheets has dedicated itself to helping all couples achieve or maintain intimacy, a healthy sexual relationship, and their sense of mutual exploration.
Tom has participated on panels with psychologists and therapists during the Road to Recovery conferences for wounded and disabled veterans. Since 2010, Tom has worked very closely with the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes. Our sex toys and sexual positioning devices can help our wounded warriors overcome the barriers that were placed in front of them.
Juan and Christy Discuss Overcoming Sexual Challenges as a Wounded Combat Veteran
These devices can be used by anyone with a disability or injury, of course. But too often, society thinks that disabled people somehow don’t deserve sex, or that it is something they shouldn’t be concerned about. We couldn’t disagree more.
We think everyone deserves to have a healthy sex life, filled with whatever kinks they want. There is no one right way for our wounded vets or disabled or injured people to have sex. We think they should be able to explore, to experiment, and to find ways to share something beautiful with their partners.
It’s something we owe our veterans, and something we should recognize as a human right. Everyone deserves to have sex. Keeping couples connected is our driving purpose, and our commitment to everyone in the community.
Sex After Spinal Cord Injury
Further Information on Sex with Disabilities and Injuries
Our blog is here to help if you or a partner have any of these disabilities:
Whether from war, illness, or accident, losing a limb means adjusting to new realities. As you relearn yourself, you and your partner have to relearn your sexuality. But this is a positive: it’s an opportunity to build new trust, discover new passions, and explore new ideas.
Whether in the hands, wrists, knees or feet, arthritis can often prove an obstacle to sex and intimacy. Alternate positions that reduce the need for using affected joints can go a long way towards making sex more accessible and enjoyable.
Back pain can make nearly everything you do more difficult, especially something as physical as sex. But it doesn’t have to erase possibilities. Dealing with back pain in sex is like dealing with it everywhere: you accommodate. You find ways to still have great, mutually-satisfying intercourse. We can help with that.
CP's symptoms of muscle rigidity, muscle weakness, spasticity, and fatigue can impact your sex life, and some planning will be necessary to mitigate that impact. Frank conversations about needs and capabilities in bed, as well as specific positions and a variety of products can help overcome these challenges, and result in a healthy, satisfying sex life.
Stress, heart disease, aging: there are many factors in erectile dysfunction, which is why over half of all men experience either short- or long-term ED. But with hollow strap-ons, anal explorer kits, beads, and more, there doesn’t need to be a loss of activity in the bedroom.
General Joint or Muscle Pain
Any of a number of ailments or injuries can cause (acute or chronic) joint and muscle pain, resulting in some sex positions being more painful than others. Don't try to 'power through the pain'... seek out alternative positions or sex acts that can still satisfy, without aggravating your existing pain.
Hip replacement used to be synonymous with the end of activity, including sex. But that is no longer the case. Advances in hips—and in the sex toys that can make up for any loss of movement or balance—mean that surgery is no longer the end of a sex life, but a new beginning.
So often sex seems to involve at least one person on their knees, leveraging those joints for position or for thrusting. That makes sex difficult for those with knee pain or injuries, but those obstacles and be surmounted with positioning and pressure-easing toys.
MS presents a wide variety and range of side effects, many which can impact sex. It may result in reduced sex drive or arousal and sensation, and spasticity, fatigue, or pain can make sex more of a challenge. Various products and positions can help alleviate these difficulties.
The loss of movement and feeling in the legs (possibly also accompanied by the same in the genitals), doesn’t have to be the end of a sex life. For men or women, this can be overcome with patience, consideration, love, and the right devices. There’s no reason not to share the same kind of human intimacy we all deserve.
Though there are enormous challenges to sex with quadriplegia, couples can still share sexual intimacy. Communication, positioning devices, and adult toys can provide not just a rekindling of sexual relationships, but variety as well. Quadriplegics and their partners can still enjoy exploring different positions and experiences.
Being in a wheelchair doesn’t have to be a limitation to sexuality; in fact, it can open up whole new worlds of angles and positions. The chair itself can be incorporated kinkily and excitingly, and you and your partner can find whole new avenues of intimacy.
Veterans can experience a terrible range of injuries, everything from burns to a loss of limbs to severe spinal injuries. These come with emotional costs, too, risking the possibility of intimacy. We empower our wounded vets to regain what they sacrificed for us, in every aspect of their lives, including sexuality.
Sportsheets Sex Toys and Sexual Positioning Devices
Some of our products are specifically designed for people with disabilities or injuries, others are products you can still use to enhance your sexual connection. These can all be used for a large variety of people of different abilities and orientations, so do your research, and discover what is right for you and your partner.
Door Jam Sex Sling
Perfect for when one partner is in a wheelchair or can’t use their legs, the door jam sex sling makes the person strapped to the door weightless. They or their partner can then move up and down, controlling the speed and the depth of penetration
Sex Sling/Super Sex Sling
A neck strap and connected ankle/foot cuffs allow a person to raise and support their legs for deeper penetration while reducing pressure put on the back, neck, or legs. The support reduces leg fatigue and lower back pressure while the angle created enhances G-spot stimulation during penetration. Includes a deluxe comfort neck rest and instructional DVD.
This is especially helpful for people who have trouble keeping their legs in the air, as it allows their legs to be lifted together, and it maintains the position where their legs are placed, while letting the partner get the best angle for g-spot stimulation.